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Report: Cheshire Phoenix 78-86 Bristol Flyers

Bristol Flyers seized a road victory, travelling north to give Cheshire Phoenix their first test of the BBL pre-season.

Flyers were led by Zach Copeland with 22 points, nine assists and five rebounds.

BOX SCORE


WHAT HAPPENED

Phoenix’s new point guard Kahron Ross has big shoes to fill with outgoing floor general Parker Jackson-Cartwright having had a great albeit short season. Ross looked undaunted, connecting on an early drive to the basket. Thomas-Edwards showed his strength and smarts, grabbing a miss and laying it home for the first of many second chance points.

Flyers fell behind with Ross and his new Cheshire back-court partner Devin Mitchell finding success. Marvin Dinnall found Marcus Delpeche in good position for a score. More Bristol offensive rebounds triggered an early Phoenix timeout.

Copeland showed his versatility, drawing a foul and then hitting a three-pointer to cut into the deficit. Delpeche sealed his defender and used a foul to help propel him under the basket for a reverse layup, giving Flyers their first lead of the game.

An 8-0 run quickly put Cheshire back in control. Daniel Edozie closed out the quarter with a three point-play to make it 24-20 in favour of the Phoenix at the end of the one.

Another new face for the Phoenix, Sehill Mouliom, had a strong start to the second quarter and Coach Kapoulas took a timeout after a few too many points in the paint. Copeland stepped up in the absence of Josh Wilcher and Eric Lockett, both sidelined by ankle injuries. 

Copeland and Ross had a scoring duel, trading baskets at either end. Copeland amassed 15 points in the first half Copeland was able to turn defence into offence with a stolen pass and a feed ahead to Delpeche for a dunk. Flyers trailed 43-38 heading into half time.

Flyers showed no signs of tiredness despite this being their second game of the weekend. Bristol began to find seams in the Cheshire defence. A three-pointer from Dinnall and a baseline drive from Raphell Thomas-Edwards to get three points the hard way narrowed the gap.

Edozie continued to trouble Cheshire and was effective in drawing fouls. A quick five points from Copeland put Flyers in the lead once again. He was forced to the bench after getting shaken up on a drive to the basket but not before he was able to gather himself and splash a three pointer.

SGS Academy player Thomas Brown made his senior debut to give him a chance to recover. Panos Mayindombe gave Flyers efficient minutes off the bench scoring six points from 100% shooting and adding three assists. His driving lay-up was Flyers last score of the period. Ross closed the gap to just two points at the end of the third quarter 59-61.

Flyers good ball movement kept their offensive rhythm. Delpeche kept up his onslaught on the Phoenix basket, extending Flyers lead on his way to an 18 point, 10 rebound double double. A pair of three-pointers from Mitchell brought the game close once more. Another signature Thomas-Edwards put back basket steadied his team and forced a Cheshire timeout. He would finish with 16 points and eight rebounds. 

Daniel Edozie sank a mid range shot off a pass from Copeland. Ross kept Cheshire in the chase with a steal and breakaway layup. Ross totalled 30 points in the game. Coach Kapoulas took a timeout with the lead down to just two points.

Copeland found Delpeche in the paint for a spin and hook shot. Delpeche worked his way to the foul line but could not connect. Thomas-Edwards was once again there to recycle the offensive rebound for an extra possession and two more points. A steal from Edozie released Mayindombe for a fast break layup and put the game out of reach. A pair of free throws for Thomas-Edwards capped the 78-86 victory.